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Steven James Richards[1] (born 11 July 1972) is a New Zealand-Australian racing driver, currently competing in the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia championship.

Steven Richards
Steve Richards.jpg
Richards in 2010
NationalityNew Zealand New Zealander
Born11 July 1972 (1972-07-11) (age 47)
Auckland, New Zealand
Supercars Record
Car number18
Current teamCharlie Schwerkolt Racing
(Endurance Race Co-Driver)
Series championships0
Races451
Race wins12
Podium finishes60
Pole positions6
2018 Championship position27th (696 pts)

Richards, the son of seven-time Bathurst 1000 winner Jim Richards, is himself a five-time Bathurst 1000 winner, having won the event in 1998, 1999, 2013, 2015 and 2018. Colloquially known as 'Richo', he also won the Bathurst 24 Hour in 2002.

Career historyEdit

Early careerEdit

Richards' first major career success was winning the Australian Formula Ford Championship on his second attempt in 1994 for Garry Rogers Motorsport. In 1995, Richards made his debut in the Bathurst 1000, finishing fourth for Gibson Motorsport with Anders Olofsson.[1] Richards continued his association with Garry Rogers Motorsport in the years following, competing in the Australian Super Touring Championship from 1995 to 1997 driving an Alfa Romeo 155, Honda Accord and Nissan Primera and making his Australian Touring Car Championship debut for the team in 1996 in a Holden VR Commodore. Richards competed with his father Jim at the Bathurst 1000 in 1996 and 1997, finishing second in the latter. Richards continued with the team for 1998 before leaving to take up a testing role with Nissan in England.[2]

At the 1998 AMP Bathurst 1000 Richards finished second in a Nissan Primera, only two seconds behind his father Jim. A month later driving a Ford EL Falcon, he won the FAI 1000 with Jason Bright for Stone Brothers Racing.

Supercars ChampionshipEdit

In 1999 Richards took up a full-time drive with Gibson Motorsport in 1999, as a team-mate to Greg Murphy in a Holden VT Commodore. Richards finished seventh in the championship with the highlight being defending his Bathurst crown with Murphy. By winning his second Bathurst title in a Holden, he became the first driver to win the Bathurst 1000 in both a Ford and Holden, and remains the only driver to do so in consecutive years.[3] Richards continued with Gibson Motorsport in 2000, winning the inaugural Canberra 400 as well as a round at Calder Park Raceway.[2]

In 2001, Richards moved to Ford Tickford Racing. Richards finished 12th in the standings for the team in 2001. With Ford Tickford Racing scaling back to one car, Richards moved to Perkins Engineering in 2002. He continued with the team for five years and achieved consistent championship finishes between fifth and seventh. Richards won two rounds for the team, both at the Perth 400 at Barbagallo Raceway.[2]

In 2007, Richards made another manufacturer switch, joining Ford Performance Racing. Richards started competitively for the team, with championship finishes of seventh and eighth, but dropped off in 2009 and 2010 with finishes of thirteenth and fifteenth. Richards was subsequently replaced by Will Davison for 2011, and finished his full-time career with a podium in the final race of the season at the Sydney 500. Richards' highlights for the team were winning the Skycity Triple Crown in 2008, and podium finishes at the 2007 Sandown 500 and 2009 Phillip Island 500 with Owen Kelly and Mark Winterbottom respectively. Richards and Winterbottom were leading the 2007 Bathurst 1000 late in the race before Winterbottom went off the track in wet conditions.[3]

Endurance co-driverEdit

Following his full-time career ending, Richards became a highly sought-after co-driver for V8 Supercars' two endurance events, the Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000. He decided to stay on with Ford Performance Racing, renewing his partnership with Winterbottom. In 2013, Richards and Winterbottom won the 2013 on their sixth attempt together. It was the first Bathurst victory for Winterbottom and the team, and Richards' first since 1999.

After his success in 2013, Richards was poached by Triple Eight Race Engineering to drive with Craig Lowndes from 2014 onwards in what had become known as the Pirtek Enduro Cup. The move brought Richards a fourth Bathurst victory in 2015.[4] In doing this Richards joined Lowndes, who along with Tony Longhurst and Jamie Whincup had matched the feat of winning in both a Ford and Holden since Richards had achieved it, as the only two drivers to win more than one Bathurst 1000 for both Ford and Holden. Richards won the great race again with Lowndes in 2018 winning his Fifth Bathurst crown becoming one of the most successful winners of the great race throughout the current decade and sixth on the all time list of Bathurst champions.

Endurance racingEdit

Richards won the inaugural Bathurst 24 Hour race in 2002 driving a Holden Monaro 427C for Garry Rogers Motorsport. Richards won the race alongside Garth Tander, Cameron McConville and Nathan Pretty. Driving the same car in the 2003 race, the same quartet finished in second place, less than a second behind their teammates Greg Murphy, Todd Kelly, Jason Bright, and Peter Brock, who had formed a famous partnership with his father Jim in the 1970s and 1980s.

Richards competed in the 2014 24 Hours of Spa with Roger Lago, David Russell and Steve Owen, driving a Lamborghini Gallardo LP600+ GT3. They did not finish the race. Richards has also achieved a class victory at the Bathurst 12 Hour, in 2012.

Carrera CupEdit

 
Richards placed fourth in the 2013 Australian Carrera Cup Championship

After the conclusion of his full-time V8 Supercars career, Richards entered the Australian Carrera Cup Championship in 2011 in a team backed by Laser Plumbing & Electrical. He consistently became a top-five championship runner since joining the series. His highlight was in 2014 when he won the championship title and broke the stranglehold on the series held by Craig Baird. It was Richards' first championship title in twenty years. Richards slipped back in the following two years before stepping back from the series to focus on his team's entry in the Australian GT Championship.[5]

Australian GTEdit

In 2013 and 2014, Richards competed in selected events of the Australian GT Championship in a Lamborghini Gallardo alongside Justin McMillan. They finished fifth in the 2014 championship. Richards then made a one-off appearance in the 2015 season in a Chevrolet Camaro.

In 2016, Richards re-joined the series full-time, this time with his own team, Steven Richards Motorsport. The team became the factory-supported customer entrant for the new BMW M6 GT3 in Australia.[6] The team has also entered two cars in the 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour.

Personal lifeEdit

Before taking up motor racing full-time, Richards served his apprenticeship as an aircraft engineer.

Richards is married to Angela (m. 1998) and has two children, Clayton (born 2000) and Priya (born 2001).[1]

Richards lives with his family in Melbourne, Victoria.

Career resultsEdit

 
Richards placed fifth in the 2016 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia series
 
Richards placed 14th in the 2017 Australian GT Championship driving a BMW M6 GT3
Season Series Position Car Team
1992 Motorcraft Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series 7th Van Diemen RF91 Ford Steven Richards
1993 Australian Formula Ford Championship 5th Van Diemen RF93 Ford Team Valvoline / Garry Rogers
1994 Australian Formula Ford Championship 1st Van Diemen RF94 Ford Garry Rogers Motorsport
1995 Australian Super Touring Championship 9th Alfa Romeo 155 TS Garry Rogers Motorsport
1996 Australian Touring Car Championship 12th Holden VR Commodore Garry Rogers Motorsport
Australian Super Touring Championship 5th Honda Accord
Alfa Romeo 155 TS
1997 Australian Touring Car Championship 12th Holden VS Commodore Garry Rogers Motorsport
Australian Super Touring Championship 7th Nissan Primera
Honda Accord
1998 Australian Touring Car Championship 18th Holden VS Commodore Garry Rogers Motorsport
1999 Shell Championship Series 7th Holden VT Commodore Gibson Motorsport
2000 Shell Championship Series 9th Holden VT Commodore Gibson Motorsport
2001 Shell Championship Series 12th Ford AU Falcon Ford Tickford Racing
2002 V8 Supercar Championship Series 6th Holden VX Commodore Perkins Engineering
2003 V8 Supercar Championship Series 6th Holden VX Commodore
Holden VY Commodore
Perkins Engineering
2004 V8 Supercar Championship Series 5th Holden VY Commodore Perkins Engineering
2005 V8 Supercar Championship Series 7th Holden VY Commodore Perkins Engineering
2006 V8 Supercar Championship Series 7th Holden VZ Commodore Perkins Engineering
2007 V8 Supercar Championship Series 7th Ford BF Falcon Ford Performance Racing
2008 V8 Supercar Championship Series 8th Ford BF Falcon Ford Performance Racing
2009 V8 Supercar Championship Series 13th Ford FG Falcon Ford Performance Racing
2010 V8 Supercar Championship Series 15th Ford FG Falcon Ford Performance Racing
2011 Australian Carrera Cup Championship 4th Porsche 997 GT3 Cup R Laser Racing
International V8 Supercars Championship 36th Ford FG Falcon Ford Performance Racing
2012 Australian Carrera Cup Championship 5th Porsche 997 GT3 Cup R Laser Racing
V8SuperTourer Championship 11th Ford FG Falcon John McIntyre Racing
International V8 Supercars Championship 38th Ford Performance Racing
2013 Australian Carrera Cup Championship 4th Porsche 997 GT3 Cup Laser Racing
Australian GT Championship 33rd Lamborghini Gallardo LP560 M Motorsport
International V8 Supercars Championship 31st Ford FG Falcon Ford Performance Racing
2014 Australian Carrera Cup Championship 1st Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Type 991 Laser Plumbing & Electrical
Australian GT Championship 5th Lamborghini Gallardo FL2 Interlloy M Motorsport
International V8 Supercars Championship 31st Holden VF Commodore Triple Eight Race Engineering
2015 Australian GT Championship 43rd Chevrolet Camaro DPM Motorsport
Australian Carrera Cup Championship 4th Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Type 991 Laser Plumbing & Electrical
International V8 Supercars Championship 31st Holden VF Commodore Triple Eight Race Engineering
2016 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia 5th Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Type 991 Laser Plumbing & Electrical
Australian GT Championship 28th BMW M6 GT3 Steven Richards Motorsport
Australian Endurance Championship 29th BMW M6 GT3
International V8 Supercars Championship 31st Holden VF Commodore Triple Eight Race Engineering
2017 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship 32nd Holden VF Commodore Triple Eight Race Engineering
Australian GT Championship 14th BMW M6 GT3 BMW Team SRM
2018 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship 27th Holden VF Commodore Triple Eight Race Engineering

Complete Bathurst 1000 resultsEdit

Year Car# Team Car Co-Driver Position Laps
1995 2 Gibson Motorsport Holden Commodore VR   Anders Olofsson 4th 161
1996 32 Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden Commodore VR   Jim Richards DNF 33
1997 34 Garry Rogers Motorsport Nissan Primera   Matt Neal DNF 84
1997 34 Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden Commodore VS   Jim Richards 2nd 161
1998 34 Team Dynamics Nissan Primera   Matt Neal 2nd 161
1998 4 Stone Brothers Racing Ford Falcon EL   Jason Bright 1st 161
1999 7 Gibson Motorsport Holden Commodore VT   Greg Murphy 1st 161
2000 7 Gibson Motorsport Holden Commodore VT   Greg Murphy 3rd 161
2001 5 Ford Tickford Racing Ford Falcon AU   Glenn Seton 9th 161
2002 16 Perkins Engineering Holden Commodore VX   Russell Ingall 2nd 161
2003 11 Perkins Engineering Holden Commodore VY   Larry Perkins 4th 161
2004 11 Perkins Engineering Holden Commodore VY   Jim Richards 21st 148
2005 24 Perkins Engineering Holden Commodore VZ   Paul Dumbrell DNF 28
2006 7 Perkins Engineering Holden Commodore VZ   Paul Dumbrell 5th 161
2007 6 Ford Performance Racing Ford Falcon BF   Mark Winterbottom 10th 161
2008 6 Ford Performance Racing Ford Falcon BF   Mark Winterbottom 4th 161
2009 6 Ford Performance Racing Ford Falcon FG   Mark Winterbottom DNF 49
2010 6 Ford Performance Racing Ford Falcon FG   James Moffat 11th 161
2011 5 Ford Performance Racing Ford Falcon FG   Mark Winterbottom 4th 161
2012 5 Ford Performance Racing Ford Falcon FG   Mark Winterbottom 11th 161
2013 5 Ford Performance Racing Ford Falcon FG   Mark Winterbottom 1st 161
2014 888 Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden Commodore VF   Craig Lowndes 10th 161
2015 888 Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden Commodore VF   Craig Lowndes 1st 161
2016 888 Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden Commodore VF   Craig Lowndes 16th 156
2017 888 Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden Commodore VF   Craig Lowndes 11th 160
2018 888 Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden Commodore ZB   Craig Lowndes 1st 161
2019 18 Charlie Schwerkolt Racing Holden Commodore ZB   Mark Winterbottom 7th 161

Complete Bathurst 24 Hour resultsEdit

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Overall
Position
Class
Position
2002   Garry Rogers Motorsport   Garth Tander
  Nathan Pretty
  Cameron McConville
Holden Monaro 427C 1 532 1st 1st
2003   Garry Rogers Motorsport   Garth Tander
  Nathan Pretty
  Cameron McConville
Holden Monaro 427C A 527 2nd 2nd

Complete Bathurst 12 Hour resultsEdit

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Overall
Position
Class
Position
1993   Garry Rogers Motorsport   Paul Fordham Nissan Pulsar SSS B 234 21st 3rd
2012   Hunter Sports Group   Steven Johnson
  Nathan Tinkler
Porsche 997 GT3 Cup B 254 4th 1st
2013   GB Galvanising   Ross Lilley
  Justin McMillan
Lamborghini Gallardo LP560 A 247 13th 10th
2014   M Motorsport   Ross Lilley
  Justin McMillan
  Dale Wood
Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 A 78 DNF DNF
2015   M Motorsport   Craig Baird
  Justin McMillan
Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 AP 129 DNF DNF
2017   BMW Team SRM   Marco Wittmann
  Mark Winterbottom
BMW M6 GT3 AP 281 14th 7th
2018   BMW Team SRM   Timo Glock
  Philipp Eng
BMW M6 GT3 AP 270 9th 5th

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Steve Richards Motorsport". WesTrac. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Greenhalgh, David; Howard, Graham; Wilson, Stewart (2011). The official history: Australian Touring Car Championship - 50 Years. St Leonards, New South Wales: Chevron Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-9805912-2-4.
  3. ^ a b Greenhalgh, David; Tuckey, Bill (2013). The official history of The Great Race Bathurst : 50 years. St Leonards, New South Wales: Chevron Publishing Group. ISBN 9780980591231.
  4. ^ "Lowndes scores sixth Bathurst 1000 victory". Speedcafe. 11 October 2015. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  5. ^ Bartholomaeus, Stefan (26 November 2016). "Richards steps back from Carrera Cup". Speedcafe. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  6. ^ "Richards to run new BMW Australian GT program". Speedcafe. 10 December 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2016.

External linksEdit